We want that lovely, unique, and perfect person back! Many people live this stage with intense reactions of resentment or bitterness. We thought of our beloved as the solution to our loneliness or void, now we realize it’s just a temporary patch. Real and ideal others in romantic relationships: Is four a crowd?
There is always the chance that some marriages or relationships can be in this stage for years. The fall of illusion is followed by a restorative phase where a person is able to look at the beloved one with certain doses of objectivity, he or she can see how frustrating the person is and can integrate both positive and negative qualities and dimensions, so the person is able to sustain a relationship with their partner. (1988) Romantic Relationships: Love, Satisfaction, and staying Together, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54 : 980-988 Sternberg, R. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49,1586-1608.
But you should know what you're trying to find out and what your intentions are — that is what you, as the man, must be clear about.
From there, you obviously need a response from the woman to know whether or not things will go any further.
This article will review the different phases of the romantic bond.Because this sort of (perhaps unintentional) deception is a particular temptation in a dating context, we need to be deliberate about avoiding it.That's where the following practical suggestions come in.If you know the woman from church, if you've seen her interact in a group, observed her with others, maybe worked with her as a part of some ministry, that input should be enough for you to think through the decision of whether initiation of a relationship is the right thing.Remember, your intent at this point is not necessarily marriage — and that's not what either of you are committing to at this stage.Each partner should have their own activities and projects, and create their own spaces while often doing things together as well. Always consult with your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.Before continuing with this column, please review the preamble included at the beginning of this series, "Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating." * * * PART 3: Just Friends » As Christians in dating relationships, we want to avoid hurting one another and dishonoring Christ by "defrauding" (see NASB translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:6) our brothers and sisters in Christ by implying — through word or action — a higher level of commitment to that person than we have made before God.Note the phrase "practical suggestions." These are not sacrosanct biblical principles.This is not the only way the early part of a relationship might look.You're simply committing to get to know her a little better in an intentional way to evaluate whether the two of you should then consider marriage to one another.Ladies, as uncomfortable as this may sound for the guys, you might be in a difficult position here as well, depending on how well you know the man initiating with you. Then I'd ask, have you had any chance at all to see him in group settings, or do you know him by reputation?